John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett first album re-released for record store day

A Special Edition of the Aylesbury's John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett eponymous debut album is about to hit the shelves to mark  2019’s Record Store Day

By Thomas Bamford
Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 10:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 10:17 am
John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett
John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett

And there is nothing digital about this amazing analogue achievement. It’s an absolutely unique enterprise from start to finish!

This double LP collection contains a re-press from the original master tape of the 1977 edition and a new direct-to-disc recording of the same tracks.

It comprises a green vinyl disc and a blue vinyl one along with large insert with full background information and photos.

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The first LP from 1977 was cut directly from the 1/4 inch original master tape of ‘John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett’.

John said: "We wanted do something unique to celebrate record store day. It's great that people are back buying records again, particularly vinyl and we wanted to get inolved with this great event.

"So we decided to shoot the record in one swoop!

"It's how it was back in the day, the studio engineer would give you a wave and you just had to go. It's a bit daunting. Well the first few tracks are easy, you get into the mood of the record but as you get towards the end of the first side, the pressure is building and you can't get the thought out of your head that if you make one mistake, the whole side is bust. It was quite scary!"

John said his and Wild Willy Barratt's friendship is still good, even after working together for so long.

To add to the pressure of recording, 2,000 facebook fans live streamed the recording.

John added: "It was unique in that whatever you played - that went on the record. There was no chance to remix it, or change everything - it was refreshing in a sense.

"It was a bit like live television in that once you've done it, or said something perhaps you maybe shouldn't have it was too late - it was out there."

John added he was under strict instructions to be on his best behavior.

As soon as record stay is done John and Wild Willy Barratt are doing a tour, which you can check dates and buy tickets here: added that he couldn't want to get back to his home town, as always and encouraged his fans to come down and say hello.

Willy said he didn't think the recording was possible, because he thought he had lost the original tape years ago. He later found out that Otway had nicked it from him, just before they split up in 1987!

The other LP of this two album set was recorded direct to disc in 2018.

No hard drive or tape was involved, just straight from the microphones to the needle of the cutting lathe.

Willy again, didn’t think this was possible because it meant the all the songs had to be played for each side without stopping.

Willy had worked with Otway for long enough to realise that, although he, Willy, felt confident he could change instruments between almost every song in the few seconds gap between each track, he wasn’t at all sure about Otway.

He wasn’t convinced that Otway. who only had the one instrument, would be able to a) play the correct chords b) sing the correct words c) hit the right notes or d) remember the order the songs came in. And they would get just one go at it.

Was Willy right? We will know soon enough as this piece of Otway and Barrett history will be released on Record Store Day, Saturday April 13th.

For a copy of this limited edition vinyl go to the ‘stores’ link on to enable pre-ordering of this masterpiece. @RSDUK2019. #RSD19.